So, as you can tell from the title, I’m back from hiatus!
I’ve made it through most of my IGCSE exams (somewhat) alive, and … let’s not talk about them lmao. That period of my life is mostly over
until results day is over.
Also, this month (and in the time I was away on hiatus) I reached 200 WordPress followers and 400 followers overall, which is awesome! It really blows my mind that 400 of you all are genuinely interested in reading my ramblings while I stumble through blogging. At the time of writing this, I’m close to 450 overall followers, which is pretty dope. I’ll probably do something for 500 overall followers, but I’m not sure. We’ll see.
☀️ lead / major side characters of color
🏳️🌈 lgbtq lead / major side characters
🌸 neurodiversity and trauma
✨ New Release Challenge
💨 Beat the Backlist
📚 Back to the Classics
📖 Library Love Challenge
🎧 Audiobook Challenge 2019
So May was actually a surprisingly good reading month, with me reading 12 books. I think a lot of it was because I was listening to a lot of audiobooks + was on hiatus, which sped up my reading! It is actually really weird because I fell into a mini reading slump on the third week of May and I was expected to read barely anything because of IGCSEs. I don’t know, it was wild.
I also read quite a few books written by Asian authors, which I really wanted to prioritize in May as it was Asian Pacific Heritage Month, but my mood did not completely vibe with it, so I only read 5 books for that (I was hoping to read at least 7 or so).
Also, I finished my Harry Potter audio reread this month. You all, I tried to hold back and do one book a month, but it just did NOT happen. I was on a Harry Potter high and also lowkey went into a hangover after, reading so many fanfics (which ya girl hasn’t done for years) and watching all the clips for the books. I’m just a mess.
On to the books!
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K Rowling ★★★★☆ (4.25, audio reread) 💨📖🎧 // This was such a great addition to the series, but definitely not my favourite. I get why this is so many people’s favorites though.
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid ★★★★☆ 💨📖🎧 // I decided to reread this by listening to the audiobook, which was a great choice. Flawed characters + fake famous people + TJR = a power combination.
The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1) by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu ★★★★☆ (4.25) ☀️🏳️🌈✨🌍 // I have the pretty Waterstones edition of this and it is my BABY. Bit too reminiscent of The Mortal Instruments for my tastes, but I ADORED the traveling aspect of it!
A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi ★★★★☆ (4.25) ☀️💨🌍 // I binged this over two days, and this was so compellingly readable which I loved? I enjoyed the romance more than I thought I was going to, and we love angry girls. Because yes.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7) by J.K Rowling ★★★★★ 💨📖🎧 // I legitimately nearly teared up three times and omg I love this series so much?? This is definitely my favourite installment. It is SUCH a satisfying conclusion which I will always love.
The Devil Tavern (Chain of Gold Extra Content, #1) by Cassandra Clare ★★★☆☆ ✨// This is literally 5 pages long, so I can’t say much, but I can’t wait for the rest of the installments!
With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo ★★★★☆ (4.25) ☀️✨ // I think I loved this more than the Poet X? I love Emoni as a character, the inclusion of cooking and teen pregnancy, but found the romance unnecessary and dull.
Stronger Than A Bronze Dragon by Mary Fan ★★★☆☆ (ARC, 3.5) ☀️✨🌍 // This was pretty enjoyable and I loved the Chinese representation and the romance! However, it did feel a bit like 2 books smushed into one and there were a bunch of pacing issues. Look out for my full blog tour review to come on the 16th!
Prince Charming (Royals, #1) by Rachel Hawkins ★★★★☆ (4.5) 💨 // WOW I liked this so much more than I expected? I had super low expectations going in but it came out being such a cute, quick and swoony royal (ish) romance. Definitely one of the biggest surprises of the year! And yes, that cover change definitely did it a favor 😍
Her Royal Highness (Royals, #2) by Rachel Hawkins ★★★★☆ (4.25) ✨🏳️🌈// I think I liked this less than Prince Charmin because I had much higher expectations going into it + I was coming off the high that I had gotten from Prince Charming? I did enjoy the boarding school setting and the characters themselves, and this was super cute!
Every Heart A Doorway (Wayward Children, #1) by Seanan McGuire (audio reread) ★★★☆☆ (3.5) 🏳️🌈💨📖🎧 // I’m so disappointed this didn’t hold up as a favourite? Maybe it was because I was recovering from being sick
Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1) by Elizabeth Lim (ARC) ★★★★☆ (4.5) ☀️✨🌍 // Okay I think this is my favourite book of the month? It was so difficult to put down and I was so invested in the plot and the world (especially that first half). Ya girl was fortunate enough to get an ARC for the blog tour and is so excited about it. A full review to come in July!
In May, I was on blog hiatus so I only published a few posts before fully going away to prepare for exams. I wish I could have scheduled more, but I think this break was very beneficial for me. I did feel a little bit of blogging slump coming (and I feel that a bit right now), so while I have many posts I want to write, I’m going to be kind to myself and write as much as I can, and write posts that I genuinely am looking forward to write. This might mean taking another hiatus (or semi-hiatus, as I was still active on Twitter and semi-active on Goodreads) from the blog.
Also, in other blogging news, my blog (i.e my 5-star crisis post) was chosen as the Blog of the Day by Dave over at the Write Reads on Twitter! It was such a sweet and touching thing, and I truly enjoyed the discussion my post was able to generate. Dave is seriously such a wonderful and kind person and I seriously appreciate his support of the blog. And some of y’all were so kind and supportive during that day that my little cold heart was filled with so much wholesomeness? I cannot even *cries + heart emoji*
Anyways, on to the (very few posts) that I posted in May, all of which were the standard Hiatus things I guess *shrug emoji*
Even though I was on hiatus, I still managed to read and see some wonderful posts (mostly via Twitter and sometimes, the WordPress Reader) that I loved and appreciated with all my heart!
- Etonisa @ Uwadis created an African Book Reviewers Directory
- Brianna @ Brianna the Bookworm shared 10 of her favourite books with mental health representation
- Angela @ Stray Curls wrote about how to plan blog content
- Vicky @ Vicky Who Reads recommended what to read for YARC in May
- Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books recommended 18 YA books about mental health for mental health awareness month!
- Rachel @ Rec It Rachel created a blogging series regarding what she thinks you should put on your summer reading (mega)list
- YA Pride recommended LGBTQIAP+ books written by Asian authors
- Elise @ the Bookish Actress discussed how she operates and organizes her week
- May @ Forever and Everly recommended 7 Asian Books for Asian Pacific Month
- CW @ the Quiet Pond gave 6 tips to diversify your reading
- So like I’ve mentioned countlessly, May was when I sat most of my IGCSES
- And y’all, exam season/IGCSE Season was WILD (case in point: that first text in English Language Paper 22, May/June 2019. If you know you know)
- However, the big perk was that I joined a couple of IGCSE group chats, which was really nice and I made some great friends (who are some of my besties now) from that chat who I love and will forever support!! (Does this go to show that there’s a diamond in the rough? Look, I’m not an optimist so I’m not great at these positive metaphors lmao)
- I also went on blog hiatus because of this! It was, quite honestly pretty refreshing to not have to worry about writing and posting posts by a certain date, and could just entirely focus on my iGCSEs. I’m not super motivated to blog right now, so I’m coming out of hiatus to try to push myself out of it tbh.
- But overall, May was a bit of a weird month.
- I also fell pretty sick for a few days. This is pretty wild especially considering I rarely get sick, and it was super annoying because I had to do a 90 minute literature exam on the day I got sick. Thanks, universe.
- I’ve been doing a lot of introspective thinking and reflecting on life and the people I choose to surround myself with, and that has been … a lot
- I’m just honestly tired with people in general. Which is lowkey a mood but this especially applies now. (I’m sorry to end this on a negative note, but I don’t know what to say, my life was pretty boring this month).
May in terms of music was a lot of re-discoveries (like music that I listened to and liked but that I now love), so it wasn’t as great as March. I need all the music recs so please let me know your favourites!
My favourite album this month was likely Lorde’s Pure Heroine (extended)! I’m not sure why I enjoyed this album as much as I did, all I know is that Lorde is a queen.
- Don’t Take The Money by Bleachers
- The Night We Met by Lord Huron
- 13 Beaches by Lana del Rey
- bitches broken hearts by Billie Eilish
- Team by Lorde
- Royals by Lorde
- Dear John by Taylor Swift
- Ribs by Lorde
WHAT I WATCHED
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2) and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)
(★★★☆☆ and ★★★★☆ respectively)
I was in a need of something to cure my post-Harry Potter reading hangover and was looking for a comfort rewatch, and it only made sense to watch the adaptations. I love the cast and the visuals so much, and both of them have always held a special place in my heart. The second one feels more like a filler film and kind of dull, I just don’t have much to say about it. The third one was great too, especially those visuals! I’m salty they got rid of the Quidditch plot, because that was my favourite part of PoA. But that timetimer scene was really well done for sure! Also, that punch. That. Punch.
- Get through. Exams. So I got out somehow alive? In all honesty, it wasn’t as bad as I expected (ya girl got through four exams in a day and is still so proud of herself for doing that). ✔️
- Slay Exams, Sis. I think I failed in so many of my exams (if not, didn’t do very well or as well as I felt that I could have and I am SO frustrated). Every time I think about getting my results back, I genuinely want to cry. Even writing this kind of makes me want to break down there and now. Two years of work cumulated in this. This really is depressing, and I … don’t really want to think about this lmao. ✔️
- Don’t break down, and breathe. Even though I did not do well as I had hoped in exams, but mental-health-wise I was doing pretty good! I’m quite pleased with this tbh. ✔️
- Try to keep my project up. Why am I a failure to society. I don’t know. ❌
- Sort out schools, or at least figure out what’s going on. Plans are settled. Not sure where this is going, but at least the ball is rolling. ✔️
- Use my voice. This sounds kind of vague, but I’m using this as a blanket term (is that the term?) for both actually standing up for myself and also standing up against people’s racist/homophobic/transphobic/misogynistic/bigot views. I mean, I have a voice for a reason, right?
- Identify toxic relationships. This is one of my 2019 goals, but it became even more apparent in May that this is something very real in my life. And I want to actually get something done about it, because I’m not here for it anymore.
- Connect more with people online. On a more positive note, I really want to connect more with you all online, especially on the blog and on Twitter! Because I truly love and appreciate you a lot, and you all are the best ❤
- Ease back into blogging. After taking my hiatus, I was feeling a bit of dread when I was thinking about returning to blogging. I want to try to ease myself back into blogging by taking it easy and writing content that I’m genuinely excited to write.
- Save at least $5-10 a week. I’m not very good at saving and managing money, and I want to get better at it. So what I’m going to try and do is to save around 5 to 10 dollars from my weekly allowance, and the idea is that it will add up so that I can have some of my own savings.
- Just breathe. Something I am very good at, on the other hand, is rapidly getting stressed out and not making space to breathe. But in June, especially with summer coming up (!!!), I want to take some time every day to just breathe and be (as cheesy as that sounds). This may include doing some breathing exercises, but I’m really not sure.
- Take some off-days. This links with the goal above and I think this is something considerably more feasible, especially in the second half of the month. Since this is something I basically never get to do during the school year, I want to schedule in some days where I do nothing except read, stay in bed, watch something and/or just schedule something fun. We’ll see how this one goes.
- Organize my own spaces. Admittedly, my organization of my own spaces fell on the wayside in April and May, and I want to work on creating systems that work for me over the long-term as well as just organize myself. Honestly, it is so satisfying to have everything organized.
School will (finally) be over for the year! This is very bittersweet, but I’m also happy. Because summer. I have so many things I want to read and watch, and I just want to chill out the whole summer. And I have some pretty exciting summer plans. *screams*
I might be leaving the country a couple of times this month? These trips aren’t 1000% confirmed yet, but I’m super nervous but also excited.
I have a bunch of assessments and one final IGCSE exam to complete. I’m highkey salty that I have to do all the end-of-year assessments after completing all those IGCSEs, because ya girl is EXHAUSTED. Like, why. I’m effectively done after the 12th so I’ll be celebrating then!
Like I said earlier, I’m going to try and ease back into blogging! I have so much content that I’m excited to write and I’m just happy to begin blogging again!
How was May for you? What was your favorite book that you read this month, and what did you read? Bloggers, what were some of your favorite posts this month? Feel free to share them here! Did you set goals last month, and how did you do on them?
I would love to know.
I hope June treats you all well.